Okay, so I'm lucky to be alive, to be in good health, relatively good spirits, with my very loving and gentle husband to slide through this day with me. And that's where my appreciation ends and my pity party begins.
Because I was supposed to wake up in the glow of my Santa Rosa home this morning, bake a strawberry tart with fresh whipped cream, go hiking somewhere verdant and lush, field phone calls from my front porch with a cup of steamy tea, concoct some exciting evening plan that involves champagne, a new skirt, and spinning around a dance floor (or at least my living room) before the inevitable shrieks and countdown to a new, brilliant year.
Yeah, that's what I was supposed to be looking forward to, on this, my birthday, my 32nd birthday. Sigh. Instead I'm stranded in the bleak sprawl of Dallas, where they packed up the free continental breakfast a few minutes early.
To back pedal: yesterday our flight to San Francisco was canceled, due to mechanical errors, and round after round of sparring with airline reps yielded the news that all flights to ANYWHERE in California are booked solid until Saturday. We were numbers 20 and 21 on the stand-by list, which bore no fruit. We were comped a hotel room and a Denny's supper, and managed to get on a flight to Fresno leaving Dallas at 8pm tonight. Which means, if we're lucky enough to find a rental agency open when we land (so far the ones we've called will be closing early), we might be able to ring in the new year from a car driving up the 101. If luck is not on our side (and luck, folks, seems to have flown far away from this holiday travel hell), then we'll spend the night in a hotel in the central valley. Three days just to get home.
I know, I know, it could be worse, but how? Did I mention that my bag DID make it to San Francisco, with all of my clothing, toiletries, and phone charger?
Here's the grand irony: I wrote this little piece for the Bohemian (copy and paste the link below) about how air travel continues to get worse and worse, never imagining that I would be struck down by the unfriendly skies on my own New Year's Eve birthday.
I will, of course, try my best to glimpse some joy in this day, for who knows where it might be lurking? Perhaps we'll make it to the fateful grassy knoll in downtown Dallas, and my own birthday ruination will be thrown into sharp perspective as M and I discuss the tragedy of JFK's assassination. Or maybe I'll look out of some shuttle or airplane window and see a bright world spinning, and realize that it's enough just to be a part of it.
Then again, it is my party, and I'll surely cry if I want to.